Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Lester Morris: Savage Lust (1962)

Here's another noir novel masquerading as a sleaze paperback! No one has ever heard of Lester Morris, let alone his sole novel Savage Lust that came out from a small paperback house called Private Editions. I thought this was pretty good and solid and could've been written by some better known paperbacker. The ending is devilishly cruel and ironic. 

Savage Lust's anti-hero is Si, a heel and a gigolo who uses and cheats women all the time. He's living in Florida and skimming money from every broad he can get his hands on. One of his lady friends, the wife of a hotel owner, wants to get Si all to herself and kills her husband and tells Si they can get the husband's money. Si doesn't want to get involved in a murder, but manages, almost accidentally, to kill the lady friend. Si buries the bodies and tries to act as the caretaker of the hotel while the owners are on a vacation. You can see this is not going to end well, right? And it sure doesn't! The ending is a punishment you just don't see coming. 

Not altogether plausible, but entertaining nevertheless, and the more noir aspects of the story are worth your while. I seem to enjoy the American sleaze paperbacks where the main guy is a no-good heel, who's getting beaten. No idea who really wrote this, but there were other Lesters writing sleaze at the same time, for example Lester Lake and Lester Arthur. They might be the same guy or,
then again, might not. 

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